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  • Love as a Young Girl
  • Marianne Kunkel (bio)

Following Courtney Love's parents' divorce, her mother accused her father, Hank, of giving four-year-old Courtney LSD. At age 31, Courtney claimed not to remember if this actually happened.

Hank fumbles inside of my mouth,lets me sprawl naked beside him on cool linoleum.At school kids are twitchy, use toothbrushes,shout Pee Girl at me in my stained dress;I was born grown-up. I can lie still here for hoursas Hank tells me to, hear in his chestbuffalo galloping steadily faster.On his arm draped around me, hairs shoot up.

He said trip, but how? His truck is stuckon cinder blocks. My eyes drag the floor for miceand suddenly I see a quivering staircaseof linoleum tiles. Its corners blaze fluorescent pink—bright as bubble gum in girls' mouths,as the stilettos they wear climbing to the top.I'm told as an infant I never wailed,but this is different. My lips fuse. I want to. [End Page 12]

Marianne Kunkel

Marianne Kunkel is Managing Editor at Prairie Schooner and a third-year PhD student in poetry at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, with a specialization in women's and gender studies. Her poems have appeared in Columbia Poetry Review, Hayden's Ferry Review, Poet Lore, Rattle, River Styx, and elsewhere, and her chapbook, The Laughing Game, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.



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